In a Certain Realm...

S22 Lost in the forest

Where we take on the dawnseekers and the Baccaiu are amused

South of the stone alter is a house 30’ up in the trees branches. It’s tipping and it’s door is ajar. It seems to be the house of a cratfsman or perhaps a merchant. On the second floor of the house is a middle-aged man with a splinted leg. Two children hide with him.

Wanderroot carries Bragga and Lydia into the doorway. As the tree tilts, Wanderroot provides support before it tips over.
The 2 children come down and Lydia goes up. She heals Carind and splints his leg. Together they hobble downstairs. Wanderroot carefully takes us down. Faufine shrinks them and Bragga flies them down with, wrapped in her hair. Wanderroot picks up Lydia and carries her down. Faufine makes the family larger again. We give the family directions out of the forest.

Beyond the entrance to the clearing, we see a pond. And we hear the sound of rain.

We wander towards the clear blue pond in the centre of the clearing. Wripples flow to the centre and the drops of water go up. Standing, ankle-deep in the water, curled over herself is a female dawnseeker. Her fair face is twisted in a palsied look. She plays her flute beautifully, if hauntingly.

Lydia sings, matching the song and following it. Eventually the dawnsingger stops singing and starts talking. Lidya tries to get her to give up the hut. She’s warned that inside the hut is a kikimora (a female Dormovoy). She asks for her brother’s flute. If we manage it, she’ll give us the hut.

North of the pond we see a meandering trail. Willow-whips float about. The Willow-whips whisper to Wanderroot to come this way. People are hurt down here. He’s sure it’s a trap so we go another way.

Rustam sees two petryon shadows (antlered flying eagles). Their shadows pass over Rustan and Bragga. They fly down and attack Bragga. Rustan fires at one and hits, but misses the other. Wanderoot reaches up. His arm becomes a branch, it stretches out to a vine and he tries to slap the petryon, and misses. Nadia hits one with an arrow.
Bragga calls out and casts web. The unhurt one gets caught, but the other is not stuck in the web, but is forced to fly below the canopy. Wanderroot attacks the one that made it safely through the web. He kills it.

Lidiya throws her spear and strikes the trapped bird. The last Petryon manages to use its antlers to cut through the web and it falls to the ground. Wanderroot beats at it. It’s trashing about. Rustan kills it.

Three beautiful red haired women are dancing in the nearby glen. with them are three human men who look tired, and ragged, but still partying hard.

We are greeted and invited to dance. There’s no muscians or source of music. One of the man comes up and offers Lydia a drink. She sets it aside and offers him her hand. They dance, following the tree. Bragga casts dancing lights and follows the tree. Rustan and Faufine manage to sneak two of the shrunken men into the bag of holding as Lidiya dances the third out of the clearing. And behind us the Baccaiu laugh in joy.

As we enter the clearing, we see an upside down tree. It’s an ancient great birch, with it s roots out into the sky. Great thick branches descend into the earth, and then back out from the earth. In the roots of this upside-down tree are thousands of windchimes. Standing in the roots is a third dawnseeker. He clutches his pipes rather than plays them, and he smiles in a cold and cruel fashion.

Nadia warns us there’s 3 twig-jacks in the nearby brambles.
The dawnpiper becomes so bright that it hurts to look at him. Bragga, Lidiya, Nadia, and Rustan try to resist it. Bragga is blinded and starts bleeding from her eyes. The battle is joined, The Dawnpiper raises his arms to the sky and a powerful gust of wind sets the windchimes to releasing a cacophonous sound. And there’s a giant noise.

Bragga is now near deaf but she can see. She balls all her rage into a tiny golden pear which she throws at the dawnpiper and the tindertwigs. The tinder-jacks and the dawnpiper get burned into cinders.

When we go back through the baccais clearing, they let us quietly go through.
We go back to the water glen, leaving the three dancers tucked under a blanket.

Lidiya gives the dawnpiper the cruel brother’s flute. She follows us back as we return to the earth alter.
The earth dawnpiper drops the alter and the strange flickering glowing light fades and dies.



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